Shropshire Mini-Break at Riverside Cabins
2 night / 3 day itinerary
Leaving for Riverside Cabins on 12th April and not familiar with Shropshire at all, my family (my husband and I plus 10 and 12 year old boys) was keen to make the most of our long awaited escape. Travelling from nearby Worcestershire we had all picked some places we wanted to visit during our 3 day getaway.
DAY 1 - VISITS ON THE WAY
Ludlow: Just under an hour from Riverside Cabins, Ludlow is a stunning foodie, historic town with spectacular castle. The boys requested a lunchtime diversion here to visit the daily market which promised a wide selection of local crafts and tasty treats as well as independent shops to peruse with their pocket money. It didn’t disappoint and wallets were quickly lightened.
Carding Mill Valley & The Long Mynd: half an hour further along our route, tucked behind Church Stretton, this National Trust valley is a real hidden gem. Easy car parking with the usual cafe and toilets, this stunning unspoilt wild landscape tempts river paddling, stepping stone balancing and hillside scrambling with a wealth of trails for all ages and abilities to explore. We scrambled up to the stunning waterfall and reservoir passing photographers, families and serious looking hikers on our way. There’s definitely plenty more to discover another day.
Riverside Cabins arrival: Another 30 minutes from Church Stretton and we’d arrived. Stunning first impression - evergreen forest backdrop to the quiet river weaving past the cabins with wide open space in front. Definitely designed for relaxation! We found the quarry firepit with the monster bonfire ready for action and spotted evidence of otters’ river access points. As it was the first day of COVID restrictions being lifted (and there was snow on the ground) local pubs weren’t serving food in their gardens yet. We opted for an Indian take away from Junoon in nearby Wem. This was unceremoniously demolished on our riverbank balcony as the setting sun illuminated the pine forest trunks and the local owls began their nocturnal chorus.
DAY 2 - A FULL DAY OF EXPLORATION
Moor Farm Shop: Just five minutes from our cabin we treated ourselves to al fresco cooked breakfast while admiring the view of the Shropshire Hills and the neighbouring Polo pitch and ponies.
British Ironworks Centre: - Refuelled and ready for the day, in 10 minutes we were at the British Ironwork Centre. What an eye opener! Free to enter (with parking, cafe and toilet facilities) - it’s a large open site dotted with enormous, striking metal sculptures of all shapes and sizes. The most famous exhibit is “Angel” - created from thousands of knives following recent national knife amnesties. Other sculptures include a huge gorilla made from 40,000 spoons, a large dragon sitting on a real car (!), a life size mammoth, and many more incredible works of art (some for sale). An accompanying showroom had all sorts of iron related wares for sale - from lamps and clocks to garden accessories and everything in between. We spent longer here than anticipated.
Attingham Park was next on our list but our sculpture and ironwork enthusiasm meant we left it too late to book an entry slot. Next time.
Shrewsbury: Instead we deviated to this beautiful waterside town nearby. It’s Tudor timbered historic buildings, Abbey and market square were like stepping back in time. Plenty of history to unearth, fantastic shopping as well as copious places to sit (outside!) and watch the world go by. Our kids were also delighted to stumble across a Harry Potter shop which seemed perfectly at home on historic Fish Street (or was it Diagon Alley?) The river Severn wraps nearly all the way around the town and is flanked by some beautiful parkland which really compliments the town centre vibe. We spotted canoe hire and a play park with cafe as well as other welcoming waterfront bars and eateries. Against the odds we did manage to find a table and eat just off the market square (once restrictions are fully lifted there will be so many more opportunities!) and then it was a 15 minute drive back to Riverside Cabins and our front row seats for another owl symphony.
DAY 3 - DEPARTURE DAY!
Sad to leave our cosy cabin but keen to enjoy every last minute of our Shropshire adventure, we had 2 more excursions for our journey home.
Nesscliffe Hills: Firstly, 5 mins drive from our cabin, we followed the sandy trail to the top of these forested red cliffs to admire the spectacular views. We also discovered Kynaston’s Cave, allegedly once home to an infamous highwayman. If we had our bikes, this would have been a great place to explore as there seemed to be a maze of trails around this beautiful hilltop.
The Stiperstones & Devils Chair: We saved the best for last! A scenic 45 minute drive from Riverside Cabins meandered across beautiful countryside into the Shropshire Hills. From the car park it’s a short walk to the ridge where the rocky path leads between craggy tors boasting spectacular 360 degree views of the impressive Shropshire Hills (and apparently Snowdonia on a clearer day!). We all enjoyed scrambling/bouldering up the various tors and the Devil's Chair. A lower paved path via a nature reserve enables the less mobile or younger visitor to enjoy the views or link with
other paths to form a longer loop. Great place for wildlife spotting too.
Refreshed and reinvigorated, we definitely left wanting more. Attingham Park, Ellesmere and the Montgomery Canal are just a few places we didn’t quite have time to investigate this time. Our boys are already talking about packing fishing rods and SUP for a summer return to Riverside Cabins (as well as trunks for the hot tub and marshmallows obviously!)